New Study Identifies Four Talent Trends For 2020

In Business, Employee Benefits, Group Income Protection by Raina Dhillon

Top employers are navigating uncertain economic times by focussing on the health, financial wellbeing and careers of their employees, a study suggests.

According to a report by Mercer, the worldwide consultancy firm, there are four trends for multinational organisations and those with globally mobile employees to “win with empathy” now and post-pandemic.

The current COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent uncertainty it has caused are changing the way businesses around the world work and will continue to work going forward, Mercer said.

Mercer’s 2020 Global Talent Trends study, which is based on the survey responses of 7,300+ C-suite executives, HR leaders and employees in 34 countries, finds the best employers are focussing on their workforce. Specifically, these companies are fostering healthy lifestyles, supporting financial wellness and providing skills and training as careers change due to AI (artificial intelligence) and technology developments.

Company purpose and employee engagement will be key

The Mercer study reveals 63% of HR leaders believe wage growth will be stagnant, while 34% of employees expect their jobs to be replaced in three years. This highlights how purpose and employee engagement are set to be key areas of focus, according to Mercer.

On a positive note, 61% of employees believe their employers are proactively preparing them for the future of work and 55% trust their company to reskill them if their job changes because of automation.

These are the four trends for 2020 identified by the Mercer report:

1. Focus on Futures

The vast majority of executives (85%) agree that the organisation’s purpose should not just serve shareholders. However, right now, only 35% of companies are delivering on this. Meanwhile, one in three employees say they would prefer to work for an employer that shows responsibility towards all stakeholders, not just shareholders and investors.

2. Race to Reskill

According to Mercer, reskilling is the talent investment most capable of driving business success. Almost every organisation that responded (99%) to the survey said they are focussing on transformation and reporting significant skill gaps. To stay ahead, companies need to reskill at scale, with speed, and across all generations in their workforce.

3. Sense with Science

While Artificial Intelligence can automate processes and make some parts of certain roles redundant, organisations that augment artificial intelligence with human intuition will be the ones who witness the biggest productivity gains. 

Meanwhile, even though machine learning continues to permeate virtually every industry and predictive analytics use has nearly quadrupled in five years, not enough organisations are taking advantage of the benefits.

Indeed, only:

  • 43% of organisations use metrics to identify employees at risk of leaving
  • 41% know when critical talent is likely to retire
  • 18% know the impact of pay strategies on performance
  • 15% can determine if it is better to buy/build/borrow employees
  • 12% are using analytics to correct inequities and prevent them recurring.

4. Energise the Experience

By redesigning the work experience, companies can inspire and invigorate their people. Right now, delivering on the employee experience is HR’s top priority and 58% of organisations say they are redesigning to become more “people-centric”.

However, just 27% of executives believe that focussing on employee experience will yield a business return. Furthermore, only 29% of HR leaders say they have a health and wellbeing strategy.

In Conclusion

With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting how organisations will continue to work in the future, the most successful companies in the new generation economy (post COVID-19) will be those who adapt to a programme embracing the above.

For consultancy advice on how to realign your business to diminish the impact of COVID-19 by adapting your rewards and recognition objectives, please contact us for a consultation.

I have over 15 years client facing experience in the Employee Benefits industry having worked for Mercer HR Consulting and The Willis Group in London. Bringing my expertise to mid and large corporate clients, I joined Premier Choice Healthcare in December 2015, with the aim of advising and developing a varied Corporate client portfolio.